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If Poland were in the Eurozone...


bullfrog 6 | 603
14 Jul 2015 #1
do you think the country would have sided with the "north" (Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Slovakia, Austria..) or with the "south" (France, Italy, Spain..) during last night's Grexit negociations?

Do you think D Tusk made the right move by asking Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Tsipras not to leave the negotiations table until an agreement had been found?

And do you think the decision finally reached (keep Greece in the eurozone in exchange for tougher austerity) is the right one?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
14 Jul 2015 #2
North. Poland might have been even more tough on Greece than Wolfgang was.

Do you think D Tusk made the right move by asking Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Tsipras not to leave the negotiations table until an agreement had been found?

Absolutely. If Tsipras had left, it was game over.

And do you think the decision finally reached (keep Greece in the eurozone in exchange for tougher austerity) is the right one?

I think it's all over for Greece.
Polsyr 6 | 769
14 Jul 2015 #3
Adding my agreement to what delph said above, especially about Tusk having done the right thing. But regarding the decision that was finally reached, I am not sure if there is any real will in Greece today to change, and without change, there is no way Greece will continue to function as a state.

Even if they had left the Eurozone, their state treasury is broke, so any newly introduced Greek currency would have no value, so someone paying in GRN (let's called it that) would be for all practical purposes passing on paper that is exactly worth its value as paper.
Varsovian 92 | 634
14 Jul 2015 #4
Paul Krugman wrote an important paper on how in currency areas wealth is concentrated in increasingly wealthy areas and poor areas get poorer in relative terms. That sums up the eurozone - Thatcher was laughed at by 'clever intellectuals' when her inner circle said it was a German plot to take over Europe. France, Benelux and Italy are groaning under the economic dislocation ... and the Germans enetered the currency union at a bargain basement D-Mark exchange rate to boot.
OP bullfrog 6 | 603
14 Jul 2015 #5
Even if they had left the Eurozone, their state treasury is broke.

Yes, but if they had left and had to introduce, let's call it the new drachma (NDR), the country would have regained some competitiveness through devaluation. That is all the more important since one of the main planks of their economy is tourism, and lower prices have a direct impact on the numbers visiting. OK, all imports, including BMWs and Mercedes, would have suddenly become much more expensive, meaning fewer imports but also more exports and in the long run a positive impact on trade deficit.

I cannot resist the pleasure of quoting the below sentence:
"The decision to suspend Greece from the common currency became inevitable when it emerged that Athens had fiddled with the accounts yet again amid chronic economic weakness, forfeiting what credibility in the international arena it still had left..."

A good description of the current situation one might say.. Not quite so.. This relates to the expulsion of Greece from another monetary union more than 100 years ago, in 1908 (Latin Union) when the Greek state, which was at the time already in dire straits started to debase the common currency by reducing the amount of gold in the coins they were minting..

mostlyeconomics.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/when-greece-exited-from-latin-american-union-in-1908/

Plus ├ža change...
jon357 63 | 14,566
14 Jul 2015 #6
North. Poland might have been even more tough on Greece than Wolfgang was.

Yes. Poland's done the austerity thing already and like the Presidents of Latvia and Lithuania, it would be hard to justify bailing out a country with higher pensions, income etc.
OP bullfrog 6 | 603
14 Jul 2015 #7
what do you mean by " done the austerity thing already" Jon? Poland has not been in recession since the financial crisis and, unlike eg Latvia, did not have to sack thousands of civil servants and reduce by 25% the salaries of those who remained. However if you are referring to the communist period and following this the " Balcerowicz" years, yes, I agree, this was real austerity. Reminds me of an interview I read in the French economic daily" les Echos" some five years or so ago. The French journalist was asking the then Prime Minister of Latvia (now in Brussels) how he had managed to push through such drastic measures ('austerity') when in France the government could not do 10% of what he did without having half the country taking to the streets. The reply was swift: " because you call this austerity?? I don't .. Communism, that was real austerity". Sums it up well, doesn'it?
jon357 63 | 14,566
14 Jul 2015 #8
the " Balcerowicz" year

This is what I mean. Greece never really had that.

" because you call this austerity?? I don't .. Communism, that was real austerity". Sums it up well, doesn'it?

Pretty well!
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
23 Jul 2015 #9
Paul Krugman wrote an important paper on how in currency areas wealth is concentrated in increasingly wealthy areas and poor areas get poorer in relative terms.

I guess you don't know that the Euro was a French invention of the early 1990s. Mitterand urged Kohl to accept a common European currency as prize of the French support for German reunification! The Germans always wanted to keep their D-Mark! The only sign of patriotism Germans could show without doubt after the war was to take pride in their strong currency. So it surely was no plot from the German side. Germany's was not less successful when we still had the Deutschmark!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
24 Jul 2015 #10
Yes, anyone that actually knows history knows that the French agreed to the end of the occupation of Germany in exchange for monetary union. It's not a huge secret. From the Allies - the UK wanted to finally get rid of the burden that was being an occupying power (particularly as the UK had more or less scaled down their presence not only in West Germany, but also didn't really care much about Berlin), France wanted monetary union, The USSR wanted cash (and a billion DM certainly helped) and the USA wanted a strong united Germany.

From what I know, the toughest negotiations were actually with the French, who had strong reservations about a united Germany's economic strength in Europe. West Germany (and particularly Kohl, who needed it for political reasons) wanted unification, East Germany needed at least economic union - and so they were willing to give up the sheer strength of the DM and a billion DM as a result.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
24 Jul 2015 #11
France and Germany, resp. Presidents Mendes-France and Adenauer, back in 1955, were looking forward to a United States of Europe (united, no doubt, by a single currency). Presumably, they wished to include ideally ALL of Europe:-)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
24 Jul 2015 #12
No, not really. Adenauer didn't have much choice - West Germany was essentially offered sovereignty in exchange for allowing France to have some degree over the Saarland and other coal/steel producing territories. Adenauer could hardly refuse - if he did, the Federal Republic of Germany would still be under Allied control - and they would be at risk of coming under more and more Soviet influence.

It's worth asking how much influence Poland has lost out on by not being a Euro member.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
24 Jul 2015 #13
True, yet the French were also in a quandary! They didn't wish to appear too eager to accede to German "advances". Therefore, Mendes-France was the one who felt he didn't have much of a choice, and not Adenauer, in my opinion.

Speaking of losing out, how about little Heidiland?? Switzerland's not a member of anything. Has she lost out on much?
OP bullfrog 6 | 603
24 Jul 2015 #14
Yes, anyone that actually knows history knows that the French agreed to the end of the occupation of Germany in exchange for monetary union.

Indeed, the idea was that a common currency would "transfer" part of the German economic strength to other members of the EU (southern Europe) without them having to abide to strict rules (deficit.). But the idea was not not properly thought through,and it is quite amusing when you see that the opposite has happened with the German economy becoming the major beneficiary of the common currency

I guess you don't know that the Euro was a French invention of the early 1990s

Not only the Euro, but the whole concept of the EU is originally a French idea (Monnet, De Gaulle). Part of the original idea was that since France could no longer play in the same league as before, with the international scene dominated by the US and the USSR, France could leverage the EU to achieve the same goals. That is why the recruitment system fort civil servants in Brussels was modelled on the French system, and as result France was the country with the most A graded civil servants (then highest rank) in Brussels. Again, this has backfired and today the EU is clearly dominated by Germany.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Jul 2015 #15
@Lyszko: when the h.... was Mendès-France president? He was Premier in 1954-1955 (8 months) but nevertheless still remembered ("Mendès-lait" because of his milk distributing program to schoolkids) (probably the first Jewish premier France ever had). The president at the time was René Coty but I doubt he had dealt with Adenauer. Most probably you are talking re Charles de Gaulle.
Marsupial - | 888
24 Jul 2015 #16
Sometimes the way I read it ppl resent germany being an economic power of magnitude. They were always but idiots didn't listen and look what happened. Somehow germans always manage to become big and strong. Why is tbis? Because they can is the answer. They know how to do it. So don't resent it.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Jul 2015 #17
@Marsupial: As to Germany, people should realize that they have built their power alot on low salaries. How many Germans have worked and still work on "mini jobs"? An Australian friend of mine, married to a German, experienced the 1 euro/hour job in Germany some years ago and she preferred to quit and stay home. A minimum wage was introduced only this year and still it's much lower than in a lot of western European countries. It is not rare that some Germans rather than earning 400 euros a month in Germany prefer to commute every day to Poland to make more money.

If Germany is rich, a lot of Germans are very poor and according to statistics, the % in poverty is much higher than in countries like UK or France.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
24 Jul 2015 #18
DeGaulle, most assuredly. Yes, Mendes-France was the SECOND Jewish head of state, I believe. The first was Leon Blum, yes?
Nevertheless, the French-German link indoubitably lead to the creation of the Euro!
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Jul 2015 #19
@Lyszko: sorry, I forgot about Léon Blum. And to Mendès-France, who was at the time and still nowadays very much appreciated, he was "only" prime minister ...
JollyRomek 7 | 481
24 Jul 2015 #20
experienced the 1 euro/hour job in Germany some years ago and she preferred to quit and stay home.

That is very unlikely. The 1 Euro per hour jobs are usually forced onto people by the social welfare. If you receive social welfare and you are being told that you have to work in a 1 Euro job then you go and do that job. 1 Euro however does not mean that this is all you earn. You still keep your social welfare money, bills paid by the state and possible even the whole rent or parts of it paid by the state. So the 1 Euro per hour is more a top up in addition to your social benefits.

If you walk out of one though because you do not want to work for one 1 Euro and prefer to stay at home, you most likely lose all your social benefits.

Personally I think the idea of 1 Euro jobs was not bad. Unfortunately though the concept wasn't thought through properly and companies started to abuse the system.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Jul 2015 #21
@Jolly: It was some 10/12 years ago so most probably you don't know of it. My friend is Australian and was at the time in Germany (Berlin) with her German husband (from Frankurt/Oder). She could not speak German in those days, was not on welfare (they were just arriving from Moscow and then moved to Warsaw as they didn't like/make it in Germany) and all she was offered was 1 euro jobs. Of course she did not accept and so didn't her husband who prefered her to stay at home. Everybody knows about those jobs.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
24 Jul 2015 #22
Yes, anyone that actually knows history knows that the French agreed to the end of the occupation of Germany in exchange for monetary union. It's not a huge secret.

And Poland wanted Germany to finally accept the Oder-Neisse-Border. Regarding the French view on Germany I always remember a phrase that was very common in France around 1990: "We like Germany so much that we are happy there are two of them!".
JollyRomek 7 | 481
25 Jul 2015 #23
Jolly: It was some 10/12 years ago so most probably you don't know of it.

I know of the 1 Euro jobs very well, even if your example happened 10 or 12 years ago. I am not saying that your friend's wife did not refuse a 1 Euro job. That could very well have happened. What I am saying is that it is very unlikely that she was offered a 1 Euro job without any other benefits such as social welfare.

I strongly believe that your friends have not told you all the details.

Everybody knows about those jobs.

You may want to read about it here
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_opportunities_with_additional_expenses_compensation

Like I said, it is very likely that your friends have not told you the whole story but it more than unlikely that she was offered a 1 Euro job without any additional benefits such as social welfare. I can understand why your friends may not want to tell everyone the whole story. Noone likes to be on benefits and then tell the world about it.

And Poland wanted Germany to finally accept the Oder-Neisse-Border.

Germany could not recognize the border until 1990. It was only when Germany got re-united when the border was finally and officially recognized. Why? Because if West Germany would have officially recognized the border, it would have automatically recognized East Germany as a sovereign state. Something which they would never done.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
25 Jul 2015 #24
@Jolly: I canNOT say the exact date. All I can say is that the girl is 100% reliable. I was a friend of hers when she was in Warsaw (1999-2000). Before she and her husband had lived in Moscow and in Berlin. Of course I cannot give you chronology ;). However, expecting people to work for peanuts is obscene and a disgrace more especially in a country which pretend to be rich (inspite of so much poverty). And as to the new minimum wages in Germany, it's far below what is in neighborhing countries and here again a disgrace. 1 euro an hour is even below the rate in Poland.

No matter what you call it, it should not exist.

Nowhere in the EU people work for this kind of bs. Probably not even in Rumania and Bulgaria (but they don't pretend to be rich)!
JollyRomek 7 | 481
25 Jul 2015 #25
1 euro an hour is even below the rate in Poland.

You do not understand the concept of these 1 Euro jobs. They are an addition to social welfare benefits. People who do these jobs get additional benefits. The 1 euro jobs are just a top up to their social welfare.

All I can say is that the girl is 100% reliable

I am not saying that she isn't but she most certainly hasn't told you the whole story. Nobody in Germany worked / works in 1 Euro jobs if they do not get additional benefits such as social welfare.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
25 Jul 2015 #26
@Jolly; it is exploitation since I suppose that the private companies hiring people for 1e/hour sell their products at real market prices (just like those companies hiring prison inmates). It is also exploitation since jobs exist but employers get away with murder. Why not having people work for REAL salaries since the jobs exist?

Nevertheless, my friend refused to work this way (in Australia, they have good conditions and much better than in Germany) and her - German - husband agreed with her. All Germans are not in favor of these slavery measures but unfortunately most behave like sheep (we saw the result some 80 years ago).
JollyRomek 7 | 481
25 Jul 2015 #27
private companies

And that was the problem with the concept. It wasn't thought through properly. Generally, the idea of those 1 Euro jobs in addition to social welfare benefits is not that bad. Unfortunately though a lot of company exploited the system.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
25 Jul 2015 #28
@Jolly: having private companies hiring people for 1euro/hour although they make profits while selling their goods the same price as the others and it is also unfair to other companies which play the game.

Even in Poland this could not be so ...

PS: have you worked for 1e/hour? ;)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,881
25 Jul 2015 #29
@Jolly: having private companies hiring people for 1euro/hour although they make profits while selling their goods the same price as the others and it is also unfair to other companies which play the game.

It's even worse in the UK, where people are forced into full time work for nothing but their social benefits.

You're right though, it's totally unfair. It's essentially a way of providing friendly companies with free labour at the taxpayer expense.
JollyRomek 7 | 481
25 Jul 2015 #30
Guys, please, read up on the initial idea of this initiative. I have said that it didn't work because it was not thought through properly. The idea was to get people back into work and after some time the companies were supposed to take workers over on normal contracts. That didn't work out as planned because companies started to look for loopholes.

The idea though was not bad. Unfortunately it was exploited and ruined.

have you worked for 1e/hour? ;)

No, I have been lucky enough to be spared. However, if I was on benefits and the job center would give me the possibility to top up my benefits and actually get off my arse to work, I would not object to it.


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